BENJI (2018)

"A Stray Dog Brings a Family Together"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

In the Netflix movie BENJI, two children who lost their father form an unlikely friendship with a stray dog that saves them after they are kidnapped by a pair of gruff robbers. BENJI is an enjoyable family movie with a great message full of positive Christian, biblical values, but some light action violence, animal abuse and the heavy topic of death of a parent require parental discernment for young children.

Review:

BENJI is a remake of the popular 1974 movie. It’s a family-friendly movie about the love between a stray dog and two children who recently lost their father. This action-adventure movie is full of suspense and holds the viewer’s attention throughout the story.

After the pound takes Benji’s mother, Benji is left an orphan. He lives on the streets, finding food and rest wherever he can. Through a long journey and a string of sneaky, comical scenes hiding in furniture on the back of a pick-up-truck, he makes his way to the city where he meets Carter. The boy buys some strawberries and tries to feed the dog, but Benji is timid and doesn’t know whom to trust. He runs to hide in a hole in the side of the building. The boy leaves the strawberries there. Benji realizes the boy isn’t dangerous and follows Carter and his sister, Frankie, home. He climbs up a set of stairs and appears in their window.

Carter and Frankie let the dog inside. They gave him a bath and play with him all afternoon. When their mom comes home, they hide Benji with their stuffed animals so she won’t notice he’s there. The next morning, when their mom comes to wake the kids for school, it startles Benji and he barks at her. She freaks out when she discovers her children have brought a stray dog in the house. She demands them to get rid of it. On a sad, rainy day, Carter puts Benji back on the streets.

Flash forward to Carter and Frankie stopping by a pawnshop to try to buy their father’s watch their mom had to sell for money. When they arrive, a robbery is taking place and the storeowner is being held hostage. One of the robbers loses his mask in the process, and the children see his face.

Frightened they may reveal his face to authorities; the robbers capture the children and throw them in a van. Benji, who has been following the children since they put him back on the streets, follows the van to an abandoned house. He runs back to the city and through a determined set of attempts he convinces their mom, the police and another scruffy street dog to follow him.

Can they rescue the children in time?

BENJI is a family-friendly movie with a touching storyline and a strong Christian, moral worldview promoting God, prayer, love, loyalty, compassion, and honoring one’s parents. The leading child actors are great, depicting a wide range of emotions, including grief, anger, fright, and joy. The story flows quickly, leaving no dead space or unnecessary scenes. The beginning of the movie depicts a string of beautiful visuals of the countryside in Texas where Benji lives. From there it easily transitions into the dog’s relationship with the children.

Available through Netflix, BENJI is a perfect family-friendly movie, but it contains some animal abuse, light fighting scenes, and heavy topics such as death, loss and kidnapping. So, caution is advised for younger children.

Content:

(CCC, BBB, V, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, moral worldview promotes virtues of love, compassion, honoring one’s parents, loyalty, and faithfulness, villains eventually are defeated, and girl gets on her knees and prays to God before bed, mom prays and then talks to deceased husband in Heaven, girl and boy pray to God in times of trouble;

Foul Language:
No foul language;

Violence:
Light action violence includes a bully pushing and shoving another kid, robbers kidnap and forcefully toss kids in a van, robbers tie up and throw an old man in a locked closet;

Sex:
No sexual content;

Nudity:
No nudity;

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Light miscellaneous immorality from villains includes kidnapping, lying, stealing, greed, and animal abuse.

In Brief:

BENJI is a remake of the 1974 Benji movie, but with a new, more suspenseful plot. Benji, a lovable dog, becomes a stray after the pound takes his mother. When he gets older, Benji forms a deep bond with two siblings. The children feel a deep connection to Benji, because their father died, and they know what it’s like to lose a parent. Benji and the children share great times together, but, when their mother discovers the dog in the house, she orders them to get rid of Benji. However, the children are kidnapped by two robbers. Benji comes to their rescue.

BENJI is a family-friendly movie with a touching storyline and a strong Christian, moral worldview promoting God, prayer, love, loyalty, compassion, and honoring one’s parents. The leading child actors are great, depicting a wide range of emotions, including grief, anger, fright, and joy. The story flows quickly, leaving no dead space. BENJI’s a perfect family-friendly movie, but it contains some animal abuse, light fighting scenes, and heavy topics such as death, loss and kidnapping. So, discernment is advised for younger children.